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In reply to Comment by Reader Charles

Andrew Ayer on 2014-08-14 at 03:38:

Would the gmail MTA be exposed to MITM attacks when delivering an email to an smtp server?

Yes, gmail's MTA intentionally lets itself downgrade, which is vulnerable to MITM attacks. Unfortunately many legitimate email servers still don't support TLS. Fortunately, Google is leading the way in trying to get other providers to support TLS <https://www.google.com/transparencyreport/saferemail/>.

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